Choosing the right cloud service provider is a critical decision for businesses of all sizes. With the rapid growth of cloud computing, the market is flooded with a wide range of cloud providers, each with its own unique offerings. Cloud providers can be categorised in several ways:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers: IaaS providers offer the basic building blocks of cloud computing, such as virtual machines, storage, and networking. Businesses can use IaaS providers to build and host their own applications and services.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) providers: PaaS providers offer a platform for developing, deploying, and managing applications. Businesses can use PaaS providers to build and deploy applications without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure.
- Software as a Service (SaaS) providers: SaaS providers offer software applications that are hosted in the cloud. Businesses can use SaaS applications without having to install and maintain the software on their own computers.
According to recent statistics, over 90% of enterprises now use cloud migration services in some capacity, highlighting its importance in modern business operations. So, how to choose the right cloud service provider among many options? The solution is a tailored selection and we’ve condensed the key factors into a definitive list of 8 areas to consider.
Service Quality and Reliability
Your organisation needs to be sure that mission-critical communications solutions will be available all the time. Ask the following:
- How often has the provider had service outages in the past?
- Does the provider have plans in place to keep the service running in case of a disaster?
- What is the provider’s track record in terms of response and issue resolution in case of service disruption or any other customer concern?
To ensure a positive customer experience, look for a provider who will focus on reducing friction in customer interactions, delivering superior customer service and support, and aligning their company strategies with customer engagement KPIs.
Features and Speed of Innovation
The right provider has cloud solutions with cutting-edge features, advanced functionality, and agile software development processes. A Microsoft Cloud Solution Partner, for example, will ensure that different users within your organisation have access to the right set of tools, regardless of location, network, or device.
Analytics and Reporting
With the right cloud-based analytics and reporting tools, your organisation can track and analyse communications and collaboration tools usage. This will help ensure that cloud solution investments deliver the desired benefits and are more responsive to customer and market trends.
Simplicity and Ease of Use
While a solution might be rich in features, its success relies heavily on broad adoption within the organisation. Complexity can hinder usage even with advanced functionality, so simplicity doesn’t compromise robustness. User-friendly tools facilitate quick adoption, reducing training costs and enhancing value.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
TCO (total cost of ownership) includes all of the costs associated with the solution, such as services costs, CPE costs, and long-distance calling charges.
Here are things to consider:
- Monthly fees: These will vary depending on the features and functionality that are included.
- Services costs: These can include things like network assessment, installation, integration, customization, and training.
- CPE costs: These can include things like communications endpoints and networking devices.
Communications Integration with Workflow Apps
The right provider should be able to offer off-the-shelf integrations with third-party software as well as flexible APIs for custom integration based on specific customer requirements.
This will enable users within your organisation to access the information they need to complete tasks, without having to switch between different applications. With the right workflows, it can help eliminate errors and reduce the time it takes to complete tasks. As a result, your business can respond quickly to changes in the market or customer demands.
Security and Industry Compliance
The right provider offers strong encryption technologies, data centre security policies, and other security measures. If your business is operating within regulated industries, you should also inquire about the provider’s compliance with key industry regulations.
- Strong encryption technologies to protect data in transit and at rest.
- Strict data centre security policies to safeguard information from unauthorised access.
- Up to date compliance with key industry regulations, such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, and GDPR.